30 April, 2017
The passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat settled with United for an undisclosed sum Thursday in an apparent attempt by the airline to put the fiasco behind it as quickly as possible.
The videos show officers pulling Dao, bleeding, from his plane seat and dragging him by his arms down the plane's aisle. The 69-year-old doctor suffered a concussion, and a broken nose and teeth, according to his lawyers.
United will "empower its personnel to make decisions and find solutions that make sense for both customers and employees", Munoz said in a letter to senators Wednesday that was sent in response to inquiries about the unusual removal.
"I think that it may seem like an over-reaction now but United has shareholders that they're responsible for and they need to fix their image." - said Steve Pease, United Airlines passenger.
Prior to the United incident, just one of the major US carriers, JetBlue JBLU.O , had a policy explicitly stating it would not overbook flights. A third also offered to do so for $1,000.
The incident was a major embarrassment for United.
Gary Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the airline, said on Thursday that the Texas-based Southwest Airlines, which bumped 15,000 passengers off flights past year, had been thinking about ending overbooking for some time because of fewer no-shows.
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And on Thursday United announced there will be additional training for front-line employees on how to deal with hard situations and make on-the-spot decisions.
Later, Munoz apologized and described the incident as "truly horrific".
"United Airlines has accepted full responsibility for what occurred on Flight 3411".
- Raising the limit on compensation to $10,000 for customers who give up their seats starting Friday.
When Dr. Dao refused, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) police was called to remove him.
The airline said earlier Thursday that from now on, no passenger would be forced to give up his seat except in cases of safety and security.
United said they had asked for volunteers but no one volunteered and soon after Dao was selected to be removed from the flight along with three others.
Munoz, who took the helm at United in 2015 as part of an effort to improve customer relations, has faced calls to step down after referring to Dao as "disruptive and belligerent" in a statement following the incident.